|Celandine's Chronicle (celandineb) wrote in cels_fic_haven,|
@ 2010-01-14 14:00:00
|Entry tags:||star trek fic hotm, star trek fic kirk/mccoy|
ST fic: Flirting and the Consequences Thereof [Kirk/McCoy, general]
Title: Flirting and the Consequences Thereof
Fandom: Star Trek XI
Pairing: Kirk/McCoy, Kirk/OFC
Length: 3102 words
Summary: McCoy isn't happy with how things are going.
Note: Nineteenth in the "Heart of the Matter" series.
They had been back at the Academy for more than two weeks now, but had only managed to find one opportunity to have sex. Both of their schedules, and both of their roommates', had changed with the new term, and not for the better, not if having private time together was the goal. Which was not to say that they didn't get to see each other, because they did, in passing during the day and at some meals and on some evenings, but always there were various friends about.
McCoy knew that if he were willing to stop keeping their relationship a secret, it would be much easier. At the very least their roommates would probably be willing to give them a little scheduled private time. He knew that Kirk wanted him to agree to be more open about things; he could almost feel Kirk's impatience like a tangible thing, a wave rolling off him whenever McCoy was around. Part of him wanted to do it. Hell, if his daughter knew, and his ex-wife probably guessed, why should it matter if their friends and colleagues at the Academy were also aware? It had been three months or so now, so it wasn't as if Kirk were making a fool of him. Nor was it as if this were the bad old days of Earth's twentieth century, when being in a relationship with someone of the same sex was socially beyond the pale when not actually illegal.
Yet something held McCoy back. If he had to put it into words, he might have acknowledged that he was testing Kirk, trying to find out if he would cheat on McCoy when no one else knew of any reason why he shouldn't be having the kind of casual fling he'd always had before.
Tonight, in fact, Kirk was flirting shamelessly with a first-year female cadet, Dora Sanchez, one of a large mixed group of cadets at this bar. McCoy had had an exhausting day, with two lectures plus a lab that morning, and a stint at the clinic all afternoon and into the evening. He had let Kirk persuade him to come out, but now he rather regretted it. He took a large gulp of his bourbon and swallowed, watching morosely as Kirk grinned at Sanchez and drew a finger along her jaw.
"He's such a tease," said Sidhu, sitting down on the empty stool next to McCoy and shaking his head. "I don't know how he manages to pass his classes, much less do well at them, when he acts like that all the time."
"He's a genius," mumbled McCoy. "A fucking genius."
"Yes, obviously, but still." The ice in Sidhu's glass rattled as he put it down, empty. "Some people have all the luck."
Maybe not all the luck, thought McCoy, watching Kirk. He knew just enough about Kirk's childhood to be aware of the fact that Kirk had been distinctly un-lucky in that. Having both good looks and brains didn't necessarily compensate for having been in effect abandoned by his mother to an abusive stepfather. Not that that was all spelled out in Kirk's medical records, but McCoy could read between the lines, and he finally, not without some qualms, had gotten around to looking at them. He was Kirk's official physician now. Goodness knows he needed one, what with the occasional bar fight and the hand-to-hand combat practice and his amazing array of strange allergies, not to mention the need for STD boosters.
Kirk had gotten up and was dancing with Sanchez in the tiny space provided, pressed close together between several other couples doing likewise. McCoy tore his gaze away from the curve of Kirk's ass. Instead he talked with the cadet on his other side, whose name he didn't know but who was in the pilot and navigation track, an enthusiastic young Asian man who'd joined Starfleet in part to get away from the family fishing business, spaceships being preferable to the ocean-going sort.
When next McCoy looked up, Kirk had disappeared from the dance floor and was nowhere to be seen, though McCoy craned his neck, looking around. He cursed under his breath. There were three possibilities: one, that Kirk was in the men's room; two, that he had gone back to the dorms; or three, that he was somewhere making out with Sanchez. It was still well before midnight, so the second possibility seemed unlikely for Kirk. The first was certainly feasible, but McCoy didn't see Sanchez anywhere either, so he strongly suspected that his third guess was the true one.
He couldn't even blame Kirk, not really, not when it had been McCoy's own idea that Kirk ought to continue flirting and carrying on with women as he'd always done. Of course, half the reason for that had been that he expected Kirk would do so regardless. It had been a kind of preemptive measure. Now that they been together for a while, though, it hurt more than McCoy had expected to see Kirk carrying on like that. The situation wasn't protecting his emotions, even if it might be saving his face.
Maybe – McCoy took a gulp of bourbon – maybe he should talk with Kirk, renegotiate? Kirk had been wonderful in Atlanta, and having Joanna figure things out hadn't been a problem. He might get some teasing from other cadets if they went public, but maybe he was ready to handle that? On the other hand, it was only a few more months until they would both graduate and get their first assignments, and the chances were only slight that they would end up serving together. McCoy cringed mentally at the thought of hearing a lot of sympathetic remarks if and when they broke up, or conversely platitudes to say that of course they could maintain a relationship for five years over light years of space.
Fuck, fuck, fuck. He drained his glass, looking around the bar once more to see if he could spot Kirk now. No luck. He glanced at the time and decided that with or without seeing him again, he had better head back to his room soon, or he'd be good for nothing in the morning. He'd just go take a leak first.
He was leaving the men's room when Kirk and Sanchez came around the corner of the hallway where the women's restroom was. Sanchez's clothes were distinctly rumpled, and Kirk had a smear of lipstick by his mouth. He'd clearly tried to wipe it away and not succeeded.
"Pardon me," McCoy said in his stiffest tones, pushing past them to make good his exit and ignoring Kirk's call from behind him, "Bones!"
McCoy threaded his way through the crowded bar to the door. He'd settled up with every drink rather than running a tab, so there was no concern there. The chilly fog outside did little to cool his hot unhappiness as he walked briskly back to the Academy grounds.
Matthews was in their room when he arrived, sprawled across his bed studying an astrophysics text. He glanced up as McCoy entered.
"Message for you; just a few minutes ago. I wrote it out and put it on your desk."
McCoy picked up the paper, expecting it to be from the clinic, summoning him for an emergency, but it was from Kirk. He must have called almost as soon as McCoy had left the bar.
Meet Jim for lunch tomorrow at noon in the cafeteria.
McCoy scowled. If the bastard wanted to talk, why hadn't he just waited a few minutes longer tonight to call, until McCoy would be back? Kirk knew how long that walk took. What if McCoy had had a clinic shift scheduled tomorrow? He didn't, as it happened, but he might have.
Sighing, he tossed the slip of paper back onto his desk and got ready for bed. He knew that, annoyed or not, he'd go meet Kirk the next day.
When McCoy arrived at the cafeteria a couple of minutes after noon, Kirk had snagged a table for two, preventing any of their other friends from intruding. McCoy nodded to himself. Still maybe a bit public for his taste, but the ambient noise would afford them some measure of privacy. He went through the food line, choosing a bowl of chili, with salad and corn bread and canned peaches for dessert, then slid his tray onto the table opposite Kirk and sat down.
"I'm not going to say I'm sorry."
McCoy jerked his head up from his bowl as he lifted the first bite of chili to his lips. "What?"
"I'm not going to apologize for last night, Bones, not when I was only doing what you've said you wanted me to do. I could tell you were upset, and I'm sorry about that, but that's all." Kirk bit into the already half-eaten cheeseburger on his plate.
"Okay." McCoy exhaled. "Yeah, I was pretty upset. I think maybe we'd better talk about this."
"That's what I think." Kirk drank some milk. When he set the glass down, there was a milk moustache on his lip, and McCoy had a strong urge to lean over and wipe it away with his own napkin just as he had done many times for Joanna in the past. "You set the rules, Bones; I've been going along with what you wanted. So maybe you're the one who should say what he thinks needs to change."
Now that it came to it, McCoy hesitated. He broke off a corner of his cornbread and chewed it slowly to give himself some time.
"I don't know," he finally said. "I'm not sure I'm quite ready for people to know about us, but on the other hand, I'm not altogether happy with things as they are, either."
"Yeah, I could kind of tell that." Kirk poked at his salad, then forked up a bite.
McCoy floundered on. "Do you like being able to flirt with women still? I don't want to tie you down, you know." Mentally he added, Especially since I'm pretty sure if I tried to, that would be the end of things between us.
"Of course I like it." Kirk shrugged. "The thing is, Bones, it's a game. I know that and the women do too... usually." His frown was so slight, so fleeting, that McCoy almost missed it. "I'm pretty good at picking out women who aren't going to think that a night of flirting and fooling around or even sex means some kind of relationship."
McCoy's lips were stiff as he asked, "Sex?"
"You know perfectly well that I've slept with a lot of women." Kirk sounded surprised. Then he cocked his head and squinted at McCoy. "Oh, you mean recently. Yes, I've fooled around, but I haven't actually had sex with anyone else since we got together, I swear."
Swallowing, McCoy nodded. He wasn't sure quite how Kirk defined sex. Would oral sex count? Or mutual masturbation? Personally McCoy was inclined to feel that if you had an orgasm with a partner present, it was sex, no matter how you got there. Maybe it didn't really matter anyway, since Kirk was being monogamous by his own standards. McCoy cleared his throat. "That's good to know."
"But it still bothers you, what I've been doing, like with Sanchez last night." Kirk's expression was candid.
"Yeah." McCoy chewed at his lip. "Maybe... no, it's a stupid idea."
"What is it? Come on, spit it out," said Kirk.
"I was thinking, maybe you could slowly start flirting with me, when other people are around, the way you do with women. Make it look like we're just starting things, instead of having been together for months already."
Kirk cocked his head. "Should I flirt with other men, too?"
"No!" That came out louder than he'd intended, and McCoy glanced around to make sure no one had noticed, trying to get a grip on his emotions at the same time. "No," he repeated. "I'd rather you didn't do that."
"I didn't think so." Kirk grinned. "I was just joking."
"Some joke," McCoy grumbled.
"Okay, yeah, I can start to flirt with you like you said, but why?"
McCoy had a hard time articulating his reasons. "I guess I want people to know, but on the other hand, I don't want them to know too much. When we graduate and get our first assignment, you know it's not that likely that we'll end up on the same ship. And I don't want anyone pitying me because we're not together. It'll be hard enough to cope with it myself."
"Huh." Kirk propped his chin on his hand. "I think it would be easier to have a few people know why you might be feeling unhappy."
"For some people, that's absolutely true, but not for me. I'd rather wrestle with that sort of problem on my own." McCoy looked levelly at Kirk. "You may not ever have been in a serious relationship before – I don't count high school girlfriends as serious – but don't try to tell me you've preferred to talk about your emotional reactions to other people rather than keeping them to yourself, because that would be the biggest line of bullshit you've ever tried to feed me."
Kirk looked away. "Point," he admitted. "Okay, then. Does this mean that after I've flirted with you for, oh, a couple of weeks maybe, we can make out in front of our roommates?"
"I think they'd be embarrassed," said McCoy. "Matthews has never brought anyone back to our room, not while I was there anyhow, so I figure I should show the same respect... at least not do anything without asking beforehand. If you don't mess around with women in your room when Sidhu is there, then you shouldn't with me either."
Kirk pretended to pout. "You mean I can't even pat your ass if you walk by?"
"Would you pat Sanchez's ass in the same circumstances?" McCoy countered.
"As a matter of fact, I probably would," Kirk said.
"If you really would do something with a woman, in front of Sidhu I mean, then you can do the same with me, I guess," McCoy decided. That seemed like a reasonable rule of thumb. Presumably if Sidhu had been embarrassed by anything Kirk did with women, he would have mentioned it long since.
They finished their lunch chatting about inconsequentialities. McCoy felt relieved that Kirk was willing to go along with the revised plan; he hoped it would work as intended.
The first test came the following Sunday night. Kirk had had his usual hand-to-hand combat session that afternoon, and at dinner he seemed uncomfortable, his hand going repeatedly up to his ribs as if they ached.
"Did the instructor leave you with bruises again?" McCoy asked during a lull in the conversation.
"At least," Kirk admitted with a wince.
If Kirk was saying that, he probably had a cracked rib. McCoy stifled a sigh. "I suppose you didn't have it looked at?"
"Nah. I've had worse." Kirk caught McCoy's eye and glanced away. McCoy remembered what he'd seen in Kirk's medical records. Yes, he had, but that didn't mean he should ignore this injury.
"If you won't go to the clinic, you should at least come back with me after dinner and let me check you out," he said gruffly.
Kirk gave a broad smirk. "You can check me out any time, Bones."
At the other end of the table, Bob Adamson gave a wolf whistle, and Sanchez called, "Didn't know you went for men, too, Jim!"
McCoy's face grew hot as Kirk answered, "It's not my usual, but I might consider swinging that way for Bones here."
"Ah, you're making him blush. Give the doctor a break," Adamson said.
Kirk quieted down for the time being, but he did go back to McCoy's room, where McCoy found that he was badly bruised, but no worse.
"You really should be more careful," he admonished, using a hypospray to give Kirk a good dose of analgesic. "Those aren't exactly love pats he's giving you, and if you get yourself seriously injured in practice, how are you going to manage if you get into another of those bar brawls you're so fond of?"
"Ouch." Kirk rubbed his neck and glared. "There's no point in combat practice that's risk-free; the whole purpose is to learn how to cope with the unexpected, and keep fighting even if things aren't going so well. Although I admit I'd rather have your love pats than Jiang's." He leered suggestively.
From his desk, Matthews snorted. "Get a room, you guys. And not this room, either."
"If I can persuade him, maybe." Kirk laughed. "Don't worry, Bones, your virtue is safe with me... until you decide otherwise. Thanks. I'd better go get some studying done – see you two later."
McCoy exhaled a breath he hadn't known was holding as Kirk left, and packed up his medical kit again. Matthews was watching him curiously.
"Jim was acting funny tonight. I've never seen him flirt with another guy before."
McCoy grunted. He put the bag aside and pulled out the PADD with his lecture notes from the last week's classes, intending to review them. "I don't mind. Kind of flattering, even if he's not serious."
"And here I thought you had no interest in humanoid bodies except from a medical standpoint, although I suppose Jim manages to get himself injured often enough to be of interest from that perspective. He probably doesn't mean much by it anyway; I think flirting is practically automatic for him by now."
"Probably," McCoy murmured, and bent over his notes.
Kirk was waiting when McCoy got off his clinic shift the next day.
"Well?" he demanded. "Pretty good, huh, with the flirting last night?"
"Yes, Jim." McCoy pulled on his jacket. "I think Matthews might be a little disturbed by the notion that you've started coming on to men as well as women, but no big deal, I'm sure, as long as you leave him alone."
"Hah. You've been putting on that whole not-interested-in-sex act for the past several years, but maybe Matthews really genuinely is uninterested." Kirk shrugged. "Don't worry, I won't mess up the harmony between you two roomies."
"Thanks. If you behave yourself, I think this just might work."
"That's the idea." Kirk gave him a sunny smile. "In a couple of weeks I'll be groping you under the table when we go out for a drink, and no one will think anything of it."
"We'll see about that," said McCoy.
#18: Worse Things to Do | #20: What Changed in His Head